Sexuality with Cancer: A Taboo to Eradicate

    The Loss of Libido is as important as the loss of hair

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    Rebecca Stewart began her chemotherapy treatment four days before her 29th birthday. She had nine months of treatment ahead of her. However, after a few weeks, she didn’t have much libido, and when she felt like it, physically the body wouldn’t let her “do anything”, as she recalls. “I had vaginal dryness,” she says, a side effect no one had told her about.

    “I was a bit hung up. I didn’t know what I could do,” she says. So, she decided to tell her oncologist. “He told me that he didn’t know if it was normal, that he thought it was, but since people don’t speak it…”, says Rebecca.

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    However, there is talk of the sequelae produced by the treatments, such as hair loss, nausea or lack of appetite. In this sense, Sonia Servitjà, head of the Breast Cancer Unit at Hospital del Mar, affirms that “socially, sexuality seems to be secondary; it seems that the important thing in a patient with breast cancer is to be cured and that it does not matter if she has sexual problems.”

    It does matter

    But the reality is that it does matter, as Sonia Servitjà defends: “It is just as important an issue as other known effects such as nausea, vomiting or hair loss.””Sexuality is as important as hair,” says Rebecca Stewart.

    To break with the taboo, she, who is a film director, decided to shoot ‘Báñame’, a film with which she intends to provoke that conversation. “I remember these moments that were very beautiful, very intimate, in which my partner washed my feet and put soap behind my knees.”

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